How Technology Can Help Hotel Facility Managers Reduce Maintenance Costs

To cut operational costs, hotel facility managers can make some changes to increase sustainability, streamline processes and alleviate headaches for maintenance staff members. 
By Susan Daywitt, President & CEO of SLM Facility Solutions - 11.5.2019

From the time a guest makes a reservation, to the time they checkout and leave the facility, hotel executives want to ensure the experience is five-star. There are many factors in making a guest’s stay exemplary which the guest doesn’t even see: the HVAC system working to ensure optimal temperature, the plumber checking to make sure water pressure in each shower is just right, the cleaning staff ensuring each room is spotless.

Keeping facilities in top shape for guests takes careful planning, plenty of time and considerable funds. To cut operational costs, hotel facility managers can make some changes to increase sustainability, streamline processes and alleviate headaches for maintenance staff members.   

Outsource More Services

There are some aspects of hospitality facility management regularly outsourced by hotels. Waste management, for example, is something often outsourced, due to the high volume of trash and recyclables produced. However, there are other services that may be better suited for an outside partner than regular staffers.

Oftentimes, when facility managers and on-staff technicians are busy doing things like lighting updates, furniture assembly or remodeling of any kind, they’re doing so on borrowed time. Anything beyond basic functions of on-staff hotel technicians will likely result in a backlog of job duties. For example, if regularly-scheduled staff members are busy completing emergency repairs, they are likely not getting around to the basic hotel upkeep that keeps guests happy.

By outsourcing more services – like construction services, HVAC services, electrical services, plumbing services and exterior services – overhead costs can be kept down, while more specialized service contractors provide quick, reliable care in both emergency situations and preventative, at a low rate. Freeing up staff to focus on other tasks ensures quality of work remains high. In addition, it keeps staffers from feeling like they have to take on work outside their core skill area.

Rely on Top Tech

While hotel management staff may be utilizing the latest technology to streamline services related to guest reservations and checkout, facility management staff may be missing out on opportunities to save with the use of technology. Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), for example, can assist with task scheduling, inventory management and work order management. For facility managers looking to reduce costs, the inventory management functionality is especially useful, as it can pinpoint when a hotel’s most valuable assets may require repairs and when the need for replacements can be expected.

A computer-aided facility management (CAFM) system is another software facility managers can use. Similar to a CMMS, it can offer inventory management and work order functionalities. Some solutions also offer a help desk, space planning, scheduling assistance and other features that can be used to manage nearly all aspects of facility management.

When looking to technology to reduce costs, facility managers will want to select software solutions which fit their specific needs. Some software solutions offer more all-inclusive services and functions, while others are a bit more bare bones. The right software depends on the size of the hotel and number of facilities and staffers. Consider purchasing software that can scale with the hotel if it grows.

Promote Sustainable Initiatives

Some money-saving initiatives require an up-front cost, and sustainable hotel features is one of them. Investing in green items can pay off in the long-run and many guests appreciate the hotel’s commitment to mother Earth.

Hotel facility managers can consider the benefits of swapping out old thermometers used in guest rooms for occupancy sensors. This green solution saves between 12 and 24 percent in heating and cooling energy, according to the California Statewide Utility Codes and Standards Program. Additionally, LED lighting can reduce energy costs and brighten up spaces. Another idea is instituting a campaign that encourages guests to reuse towels and other linens, avoiding the resources needed to wash every linen after every use.

By taking aim at reducing facility management costs, hotel facility managers are showcasing their eagerness to make changes that will result in happier guests and a more satisfied staff.

Susan Daywitt is President & CEO of SLM Facility Solutions, a USA and Canadian facility services management company. The company provides a tailored hotel facility management solution for on-demand type services such as Handyman, Plumbing, Electrical, Lighting, Signage, Parking Lot Repairs & Maintenance, HVAC repairs, coupled with recurring services of Waste and Recycling, Grease Interceptor and HVAC services to match the requirements of each facility.

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